Modesty & Alcoholism
Hey Modesty Proponents,
You keep saying that I have to cover up my body because I wouldn’t invite an Alcoholic to a bar, right? I wouldn’t be so cruel as to grab him a cool bottle of delicious beer and set it in front of him, right? I wouldn’t do that and expect him not to go into an insatiable frenzy and violently consume that alcohol, right?
But the problem with that is:
women’s bodies are not alcohol.
my body is not a bottle of beer. my body is not a bottle of anything. my body is not an object. my body is not your object or the object of your worldview. my body does not exist to be taken advantage of by harassment or judgement. my body is not fundamentally offensive and dangerous. my body doesn’t belong to you or him or your rules or any person except for me. my body is mine. it is, like so much of this life, a gift from god to me.
Women’s bodies are not alcohol.
And men are not alcoholics.
Attraction is not the same as addiction. Attraction is not the same for every person. By telling men that they are inherently sexual addicts and sinners because their hormones are working, by telling men that they are sexual aggressors and women are temptresses, by telling men it is always the fault of the woman, you are hurting men. When you say that men can’t help themselves, that women’s bodies are ultimately responsible for any violent frenzy or taking or abuse or harassment that they receive (even if it’s just mentally), you are irrevocably damaging the souls of men and women.
You are hurting precious men who love God, who love themselves, who love others, and who want to live at peace with both their sexuality and their community.
You are hurting precious women who love God, who love themselves, who love others, and who want to live at peace with both their sexuality and their community.
You are causing untold rifts between people and their own bodies.
You are setting men and women against each other in a contest where the only winner is shame.
You are hurting real, valuable people left entirely out of this discussion because their sexual attractions do not match yours or don’t fit with this horrible metaphor you’ve created.
men are not alcoholics for women’s bodies.
Dress conservatively or not conservatively. Clothing choices have to do with personal comfort levels, weather, respect for the current social standards in your community, etc. I will never tell an adult person that they should be uncomfortable in their own clothes. Make good choices for yourself because your body is yours. It is your gift.
So, in closing: women’s bodies are not alcohol, men are not alcoholics for women’s bodies.
If there’s anything else, let’s talk about it in person. I want to hear your story. I want to talk about healthy personal sexual ethics and theology and the glorious mystery of humanity.
The first round of cool, delicious beer is on me.